I am focusing more and more on implemeting functionalities (in PHP) and content modelling, i.e. working out the best way to store and input data in CMSes, and retrieving it for display.
Over the last few years, at Studio 24, I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of technologies: working in the context of a headless CMS architecture, coding a Progressive Web App, selecting the right CMS for a large project.
Things that got me here
1982 Born in Charleroi, Belgium
2001 - 2005 Study Biology at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. As part of my course, I learn to program in Pascal (does this make me feel old!)
Sept. 2005 Move to London for a combined Masters/PhD in Modelling Biological Systems at University College London. (I've never been one to chase butterflies in the fields. I'd rather debug a script.)
2006 - 2009 Things don't quite work out for me in the academic world. I quit my Masters to work as a special needs teaching assistant in secondary schools.
I need to come down my fluffy academic cloud and teach pupils with learning difficulties. Anything I say needs to be crystal clear. This is one of the most important skills I will ever learn.
Summer 2008 I wake up with the urge do make websites for a living. Two weeks later I'm signed up to a Web Applications Development course with the Open University. I will never know how or why I came up with that but I don't regret it.
Sept. 2009 I am looking for Web Development jobs. Everyone wants me to have eons of experience and a solid portfolio.
Sod it! I'm going freelance. If I'm building a portfolio, I might as well build it for myself.
2009 - 2016 I trade as M.A.J. Web. I start with small websites, the code of which would make me cringe now. I get better with every project.
And I learn a lot about business. The law of supply and demand kicks me in the face so I start learning WordPress. Over the years, I become somewhat of a WordPress specialist.
2011 - 2013 I spend a little over a year in Osaka, Japan, then under a year back in Belgium - freelancing remotely. I've forgotten quite a bit of Japanese but I suspect I'm still fluent in ordering food.
2014 Move to Cambridge, UK. Business picks up.
2016 - Now Studio 24, which was gradually becoming my biggest client, offers me a job. I'm four-month pregnant at the time and they are happy to accommodate me with a part-time position. Also, I will be working on projects I could only dream of as a freelancer.
It turns out my work mates are lovely. I learn zillions of things related to large web projects (scrum tools, git, front-end build tools, you name it).
I start as a front-end developer and over the years become WordPress Lead Developer and then Senior Web Developer.
2018 - Now I move back to Belgium for personal reasons. I still work for Studio 24, remotely. Yup, I was doing it before it was mainstream ;)